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 Post subject: Should family financially help their adult children?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:18 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 99
What's everyone's take on this?

I come to the topic - after hearing for the bazillionth time my friend so-and-so just closed on a house.
I admire them and think "great! they are at my income level and they have it all together - way to go!"
Only to find out their parents have put down a good size down payment and the new owner hasn't been saving over the years afterall.

I don't know if I feel petty, annoyed or jealous. It isn't about me anyway. I wouldn't be comfortable taking that kind of cash from my parents - mostly because I'm a grown woman, why should I? They had lean years until they could afford a house. They also paid for my college education and given me (very used) cars over the years. My father opened an IRA for me when I was still a teen and contributes on my birthday into.

After their generosity and hard work at saving and being frugal, I would feel especially bad. I've been saving for a house for 10 years - why shouldn't *I* be the one who saves for it? (In my town for the neighborhoods I would consider, I would need a min. $50k to get a house IMO, typically, if you include 20% down, closing costs, and a good size house EF. )

I do however, kick myself often that I didnt buy into an up and coming (and still cheap) neighborhood at one time when I had the chance. I would have no complaints then.

As far as the broad topic on family helping their gainfully employed adult kids, still wondering on that too and would like to hear discussion on it. The house thing is just what I keep running into right now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:47 am 

Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 12:30 am
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Location: Cali, of course!
If other people want to help out their adult kids, it's their prerogative. However, IMO adult children should be financially responsible in their own right instead of just relying on their parents to bail them out. It detracts the value of their success.

My husband and I saved up for a down payment on a house without help from our families. My parents are poor and his are better off financially. Even if his parents offered to help out, I would have said 'no thanks'. I don't want to be known as someone who has stuff handed to them on a silver platter. It makes me proud to say that we did it by ourselves.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:26 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
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I'm amazed that 1) parents are financially ABLE to spare that kind of change all willy-nilly, and 2) that they would do so in the first place. Like Cali says, it's their perogative, but I guess coming from a blue-collar middle-class family, the concept is just foreign to me and I can't imagine my parents ever offering such a thing or me ever accepting it.

I do know people who have done it, though. Some are irresponsible adult trust-fund kids. Others are working-class Joes and Janes whose parents were able to do something generous and were able to help with a very modest down payment on a very modest starter home. Personally, I wouldn't want anyone having ownership (real or imagined) in my home except for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:39 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:35 am
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at the end of the day, family is all you have. but, if there is a cycle of financial problems, you have to give tough love at some point. if it is a matter of family having the means to provide assistance or give, then why not. there is nothing wrong with it. sometimes i get the feeling people think that you stop being a family when everyone grows up.i also believe it matters in context, too. however, it isn't necessarily about the receiver all the time, which people seem to think. sometimes people want to give and it's a matter of them not you. for whatever reason if parents feel some happiness in continuing to provide, then why not? you are going to refuse someone giving you something because of your pride? what about the other person's feelings? that's just retarded in my opinion. i see nothing wrong with family continuing to be family. of course, i revert to my caveat of tough love if the situation warrants.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:51 am 
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Location: Colorado
I understand where you're coming from, but the problem is where does the line get drawn? There are people who would feel the same about your parents paying for college or the beaters they let you drive. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

Having said that, I think self-sufficiency and personal responsibility are some of the most important traits one could impart to their children.

That doesn't really help does it.

cheers,
Zulu


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: New Hampshire
I could write a book about all my Nieces & Nephews who own homes/boats/suvs/atvs/dirt bikes/sports cars, etc. from what their parents have given them. And yes, I am jealous and yes, it is frustrating. Here I am, working my butt off and what do I get? A 3 room apartment. I have no debt. I save and invest religiously. I'll never have 1/2 of what they have, unless I win the lottery.

What makes my blood really boil is my Nieces and Nephews have ZERO appreciation for the things they own. They treat their "toys" like dirt. I blame the parents (my brothers and sisters). They've given their kids everything they've ever asked for and then some.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my family dearly, but I have some of the most spoiled, rotten relatives I've ever met in my life. I'm lucky if I get a Christmas card from them, never mind a gift.

I know this doesn't help your problem, but I'm so grateful to get that off my chest. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am
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Zulu113 wrote:
I understand where you're coming from, but the problem is where does the line get drawn? There are people who would feel the same about your parents paying for college or the beaters they let you drive. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.


I was going to make this point as well--i think it's an important one. I did not receive any help paying for college or a car but that doesn't mean i wouldn't have taken the help. I don't think there's anything wrong with taking such gifts from parents.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
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welllll... i go to a ritzy private school, so i could talk volumes about the 18 year olds i see running around here in porsches and how much it annoys me that our youth are growing up with such entitlement.

however, i did not expect that some of my fellow federally funded, "no way i could afford this if i had to pay on my own" graduate students would be so spoiled rotten. the problem is that it carries over into other aspects of their lives and affects others. i have mentioned previously that my husband is a mechanic, and that we come from a pretty lower-middle-class background. well, most of our friends back home are all broke as can be and we have worked on their cars for cheap and gotten a few bucks and a lot of appreciation, possibly a favor returned someday.

we offered to fix my colleague's car (given to her by her parents, the problem was caused because she did not take care of it.) because her parents had just put big down payment on a house and they were having trouble adjusting to the mortgage payments and additional costs. this was a huge repair that any sane mechanic would have ordered two major suspension parts replaced. instead, my husband the undercar specialist offered to fix it on the cheap and do labor for free. we had to put in some new parts, which caused some irritation on their part i guess, and since we were doing it for free it came in last priority after husband's paying shop work. it took him 2 weeks and saved over $1000. but because of the time constraints we heard nothing but complaints and rumors spread through our entire social network about how incompetent he was, they called threatening to ask his boss to transfer the job to someone else (hey, he was doing it for FREE!) and that would have gotten him fired, etc.

the biggest insult? not so much as a thank-you at the end. they assumed they were entitled to this done for free and done quickly. we were so furious that we cut ties with them immediately. their expectations were so unrealistic that they weren't all that pleasant to hang out with anyway, but that was the final straw. they did call to have him fix something on the job once, but expected a 4 hour job to be done in exactly 4 hours- meaning he would have to bypass any other car he had started working on first. this kind of expectation for preferential treatment is ridiculous and without her parents i don't see her going far in this world.

if this is what having big bucks just handed to you does to people, i think we're all screwed.

/rant


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:15 pm
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Wow galactic! I'd be furious! My redhead temper would really come out! :twisted:

I do agree it is a family choice to subsidize their adult children; it just baffles me.
Mostly I find is so "odd" is because I never hear that it was common for the parents' parents to do the same. You grew up, were prepped for it we hope, then you made choices and met goals. It wasn't like "Here. No worries for you!".

I'm so eternally grateful my parents were as generous as they were. They also 'sacrificed' to make it happen for me and themselves. They could have blown me and my sister's college fund if they had wanted on nice trips :wink: They believed it was their job to make me self-sufficient as an adult, not to make my life 'easy'.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:05 pm 
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I recently had a hard time saying "yes" to a gift from my mom. I have four girls and my brother was getting married but it was an expensive trip so we had to make some decisions about who was going to go and who was going to stay. Since my brother hasn't met my wife yet, and we just had twin girls and they could fly free we decided that my wife and I would fly up land the older girls would stay at home. My mom however really wanted the older girls to come up too so she offered to pay for the tickets which ran about $2000. At first I objected but she convinced me that she really wanted to see the whole family and it was important to her to bring everyone up. In a situation like this, where it was a gift offered not a request made I don't really have any grounds to object to the gift. If I'd somehow blackmailed my mom emotionally to get her to buy the tickets I could see the problem, but she offered and I accepted and we all had a wonderful time. I think that's what gifts are ment to be.

In comparison to that, I have a really great uncle who's my mom's youngest brother. He was always a kind man, gentle,caring, affable and hard working. He was also simple by no means a great thinker, but he had good habits with money and in some 30 years I have NEVER heard a single unkind word about him. My uncle married a wonderful girl when he was 23 and they've been together since. They don't have kids but have two dogs and she's much like him, kind, gentle, thoughtful and hard working. Although they were both good people because of the challenges they faced in the workforce they lived modestly and had a simple one bedroom apartment for a long time. For their five year anniversary my Aunt's family gifted them a house. They paid the down payment and 60% of the mortgage so they could afford to live there, and when they had it paid off they transfered the title to their daughter. It was a wonderful gift to two very deserving people that I would probably have never known if they weren't family. In a situation like this, I see the gift and I'm grateful for it. I can certainly imagine situations where adult children can be spoiled just like younger children, however I don't think that's always the case.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:10 pm 
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FranticWoman wrote:
Wow galactic! I'd be furious! My redhead temper would really come out! :twisted:

I do agree it is a family choice to subsidize their adult children; it just baffles me.
Mostly I find is so "odd" is because I never hear that it was common for the parents' parents to do the same. You grew up, were prepped for it we hope, then you made choices and met goals. It wasn't like "Here. No worries for you!".

I'm so eternally grateful my parents were as generous as they were. They also 'sacrificed' to make it happen for me and themselves. They could have blown me and my sister's college fund if they had wanted on nice trips :wink: They believed it was their job to make me self-sufficient as an adult, not to make my life 'easy'.
College fund? You had a college fund? I'm wondering how you see that as being different than the example you described above...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:50 pm 

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FranticWoman wrote:
Wow galactic! I'd be furious! My redhead temper would really come out! :twisted:

put it this way, my evil side offered to return the car and parts purchased to them in current condition: towed to their driveway on a flatbed, missing front end wheels suspension, bumper to the pavement. here's a jack and a wrench, have fun. fortunately for them, my husband is a nicer person than i, because the cash value of the tow would have been WORTH IT.

back OT:
i can see the value of a gift, but i think the issue here is support to the extent of reliance. maybe i just read into that too much.

actually, i've had a hard time learning to accept gifts and i think i may have hurt people's feelings over the years by turning down their offers. i grew up having earned everything i owned, so gifts were hard for me to grasp. we're far more comfortable giving than receiving... foolish young pride.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:49 pm 

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Zulu113 wrote:
I understand where you're coming from, but the problem is where does the line get drawn? There are people who would feel the same about your parents paying for college or the beaters they let you drive. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

Having said that, I think self-sufficiency and personal responsibility are some of the most important traits one could impart to their children.

That doesn't really help does it.

cheers,
Zulu


why does a line need to be drawn in the first place. this is what i don't get. self-sufficiency and personal responsibility has nothing to do with needing and asking for help sometimes, or just receiving something even if you don't need it or even if you have the means to obtain something on your own.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:52 pm 

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ElizabethAnn wrote:
I could write a book about all my Nieces & Nephews who own homes/boats/suvs/atvs/dirt bikes/sports cars, etc. from what their parents have given them. And yes, I am jealous and yes, it is frustrating. Here I am, working my butt off and what do I get? A 3 room apartment. I have no debt. I save and invest religiously. I'll never have 1/2 of what they have, unless I win the lottery.

What makes my blood really boil is my Nieces and Nephews have ZERO appreciation for the things they own. They treat their "toys" like dirt. I blame the parents (my brothers and sisters). They've given their kids everything they've ever asked for and then some.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my family dearly, but I have some of the most spoiled, rotten relatives I've ever met in my life. I'm lucky if I get a Christmas card from them, never mind a gift.

I know this doesn't help your problem, but I'm so grateful to get that off my chest. :D


i'd say stop comparing yourself to everyone else and focus on your life not what others have or don't have. there are many more people that have less than you, yet we never compare ourselves to them now do we? it's far easier to compare ourselves with those who apparently have or in reality may have than to be content with or improve your own situation.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:08 pm 
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googoo wrote:
Zulu113 wrote:
I understand where you're coming from, but the problem is where does the line get drawn? There are people who would feel the same about your parents paying for college or the beaters they let you drive. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

Having said that, I think self-sufficiency and personal responsibility are some of the most important traits one could impart to their children.

That doesn't really help does it.

cheers,
Zulu


why does a line need to be drawn in the first place. this is what i don't get. self-sufficiency and personal responsibility has nothing to do with needing and asking for help sometimes, or just receiving something even if you don't need it or even if you have the means to obtain something on your own.


You missed the point. Such a line is impossible because it requires a concensus, and people have much too different views for that to happen. Again, it's perspective. George Carlin put it well: everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and everyone who drives faster is a lunatic.

From my perspective, personal responsibility means everything. Someone who has none gladly takes money from parents who can't afford it. Someone who has it turns down that money in cases of want over need because a) they believe in themselves and their ability to make their own way and b) they respect the effort and sacrifice that it took others to get themselves to where they are in life. You draw the comparison of need and want. I think personal responsibility means knowing the difference between the two and not taking advantage of the generosity of friends and family for wants.

My $0.02.
Zulu


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